The Holden cross country teams competed at the MRVC-East Cross Country Meet at Richmond High School Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Eagle boys runner Rett Hankins led the cross country program to its top finish on the day by placing sixth to earn an all-conference top-10 finish.
Hankins finished seven seconds off of his personal record time while running a majority of the race without his left shoe after removing it on a downhill stretch on the course when it came loose. He finished with a time of 18:18 to become a three-time all-conference medalist.
“Someone stepped on my foot at the beginning, and then, I started going downhill and it was about halfway off so I just kicked it the rest of the way off,” described Hankins after the race.
Prior to his recent junior year top-10 finish at the conference meet, Hankins placed ninth as a sophomore and seventh as a freshman. He used a trio of Knob Noster runners to pace himself this year. The top-five finishers included two Lexington runners in first and second, followed by Knob Noster runners Tyler Zink, Levi Wilhelm, and Micah Rivera in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
“I was hoping top-five. I got sixth,“ said Hankins of his expectations entering the race and his final result. “I didn’t plan to lose my shoe. I was hoping to stick with the Knob pack and just save some energy for the hill, but not too much. I was with them for the most part.”
Hankins had the opportunity to kick his shoe to his dad, Brandon Hankins, who was cheering for Rett along the course.
“Rett went into the day wanting to be top-five,” said Holden cross country coach Ben Kiger. “At the four-minute mark, Rett had to kick off his shoe to his dad. He just showed some guts and a lot of toughness. He came out with a penny-sized blister, but was not going to be denied his all-conference spot.
“Eighteen-eighteen is a really good time for the Richmond course,” continued coach Kiger. “Rett has gotten better each year, and that is a testament to his work ethic.”
Gerard Costa finished as the Holden boys team’s number-two runner on the day by placing 24th in the field of 33 finishers. Costa clocked out at a season-best time of 21:25.
“Gerard came in with another personal record on a course he has never ran before,” noted coach Kiger.
Evan Robinson in 30th place with a time of 24:04, Noel Petitpierre in 31st place with a time of 24:56, and Joseph Samilin in 33rd place with a time of 28:06 completed the boys team’s placings.
Lady Eagle junior year runner Ava Young led the Holden girls team by placing 12th in a time of 23:39 to finish just outside of a medal spot after earning top-10 all-conference placings in both her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Sophomore Abby Miller also recorded a top-15 finish in the field of 25 girls finishers. Miller placed 14th with a time of 24:08.
Sophomore Malea Brewington turned in a season-best time of 24:55 to place 19th.
Senior foreign exchange student Elsa Grange placed 20th with a time of 25:46, and freshman Madisyn Talley placed 22nd in a time of 26:23.
“The girls field was tough this year,” said coach Kiger. “We had a lot of best conference times but didn’t result in any all-conference spots. I’m really proud of the girls team to hang together. We have had a lot of injuries this year, but they are working hard to stay a team.”
Holden Cross Country Runners Close Out Regular Season
The Holden cross country teams closed out the regular season schedule for the Eagles and Lady Eagles teams by competing in the St. Michael Invitational Meet on Saturday, Oct. 21.
“Our girls team finished third overall,” reported Holden cross country coach Ben Kiger. “All the girls finished in the top-25 with Madisyn Talley being 25th. Abby Miller finished 10th with a 24-minute (time). Ava Young finished 12th with 24:11. Elsa Grange and Malea Brewington finished 15th and 19th.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” said coach Kiger. “They did a good job of competing.”
Rett Hankins maintained the number-one spot on the Holden boys cross country team by placing eighth on the day.
“On the boys side, we had Rett finish eighth with an 18:25,” reported coach Kiger. “Noel Petitpierre ran a 25:09, and Joseph Samilin ran a 28:15.
“Shout out to all the students and faculty that came out to support us today,” continued coach Kiger. “This week is all about getting ready for districts and being where we need to be to advance.”
The Holden high school cross country teams compete in the Class 3, District 4 Cross Country Meet this Saturday, Oct. 28 at Platte Ridge Park in Dearborn. The Class 3 boys race for Holden is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. The Class 3 girls race for Holden is scheduled to begin at 10:10.